League of Gokana Community Youth Leaders has endorsed the decision of the Supreme Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers to allow the resumption of oil exploration in Ogoniland.
The youth leader said this at the end of an extra-ordinary meeting held at the palace of the Gbenemene of Gokana in Biara.
A communiqué made available to newsmen at the end of the meeting, stressed the need for Ogonis to adopt the declaration made by the Ogoni traditional rulers during their meeting on February 2, 2015 at Korokoro, which endorsed Belema Oil to resume oil exploration in Ogoni.
The youth said that Gokana, with the largest oil wells in Ogoni, have accepted the postion of chiefs, elders, women and youth on the choice of Belema Oil.
The youth also said that no other companies or company shall be welcomed in Gokana land, stressing that all anti-Belema movement in the area would be rebuffed.
The communiqué, which was read by the Youth President of Kegbara Dere Community, Mr. Norteh Meebari Morgan, warned those peddling rumours against Belema Oil working to create division among the people to desist from it or be exposed.
“Belema Oil is a dream builder, and we, the youth have heard of the Belema story and are motivated because we believe many more Belemas will spring up in our land,” they said.
On his part, the President of the National Youth Council of Ogoni People (NYCOP), Comrade Victor Promise Wisdom, said that the youth group has resolved to engage Belema Oil, adding “lets see what he has for the youth”.
He stressed that NYCOP will be part of the decision taken at Ogoni Congresses in relation to Belema Oil in Ogoniland.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Ogoni Solidarity Forum, Mr. Celestine Akpobari has dismissed claims by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that, the indigenous company (Belema Oil Company) recently seeking to resume oil exploration in Ogoniland belong to Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, and Senator Magnus Abe of Rivers South East Senatorial District.
Akpobari debunked the claim last Saturday in a chat with newsmen in Port Harcourt following comments by the Director of Communication of PDP Governorship Campaign Organisation in Rivers State, Barr. Emma Okah, that Belema Oil Company was owned by Governor Amaechi and Senator Magnus Abe, who have reportedly pushed for the firm to replace Shell Company oil exploration in Ogoniland in Rivers State.
Akpobari said, the oil company belongs to a Kalabari person from Kula, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, and described the PDP allegation as baseless and untrue.
Akpobari urged the PDP leadership to verify their facts before going public to avoid portraying the party as deceitful.
According to him, President Goodluck Jonathan had the final say in any oil company to replace Shell, asking, is it possible that the President would wish to allocate the Ogoni oil wells to his opponent’s company, assuming that Governor Amaechi and Senator Abe owned Belema Oil Company?.
“Politicians, especially those in PDP should know that, Rivers people are not ignorant and tools, politicians should stop policising issues that have nothing to do with politics.
“Like our chief said, this man (Belema Oil) has been on negotiation with government and Ogoni people over a year now, and we have seen the good plans of the company. Politicians should stop politics of gimmick, PDP just wants to embark on campaign that does not have base and fact, even in the 21st century”, Akpobari said.
He warned politicians against using Ogoni issues to cause crisis among Ogoni people.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Kpean Council of Chiefs, Chief Nwarinee Gilbert called on political parties to desist from using Ogoni oil wells as issue of political campaign in the area.
He explained that, Belema Oil Company started plans to resume oil mining in Ogoni years ago, and that its plan was well articulated which has made the traditional rulers and youth to endorse it.
He challenged companies with better plans to come out, stating that Ogoni People were ready to work with such company.
Gilbert further disclosed that no company will operate in Ogoniland, if the environment is not cleaned up as recommended by UNEP.
Eid el Maulud: FG Declares Thursday Public Holiday
The Federal Government has declared, tomorrow, as public holiday to celebrate this year’s Eid el Maulud.
Eid el Maulud is the Muslim celebration of the birth of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, announced this in a press statement released by the ministry’s Director of Press & Public Relations, Mohammed Manga.
The minister urged Muslims to “imbibe the spirit of love, patience and perseverance which are the virtues of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).”
He also urged all Nigerians to use democratic means to tackle some of the issues confronting the country.
Pay Amnesty Contractors Now, Or…, Ex-Militants Warn
Following the non-payment of verified Presidential Amnesty Programme contractors from November, 2019 to date, and the rumours making the round on the alleged plans by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to scrap the programme, aggrieved ex-militants in the Niger Delta region have indicated interest to join the ongoing #EndSARS protests and use the platform to ask the National Security Adviser to the President, Maj-Gen Babagana Monguno (rtd) to facilitate the payment of all contractors within 48 hours, and also give account of his stewardship on the amnesty office.
Sources said that the ex-agitators may be preparing to unleash more hardship on the economy in the coming days, should the NSA’s office fail to oblige them their requests.
Speaking on a live radio programme monitored by The Tide in Yenagoa, last Monday, leader of the Third Phase of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), ‘General’ Ebi John, lamented the pains the ex-militants in the region were going through as a result of the non-payment of contractors handling various training and empowerment schemes of the programme.
He reiterated that the most critical part of the programme was the reintegration of the ex-agitators into civil life, which according to him, would enable them have sustainable sources of livelihood in line with the amnesty deal.
John said the Amnesty Office deliberately stopped payment of verified contractors since last November, which has resulted in the suspension of the training and empowerment of the ex-agitators, adding that the action was a clear indication that the rumoured plans to scrap the PAP by the present APC-led administration was true.
“Our findings indicate that Monguno, who is the National Security Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari, is the brain behind the non-functioning of the programme because of his secret agenda of eventually scrapping the Presidential Amnesty Programme”, he said.
“The United Amnesty delegates are sending a message to Monguno that his plans to further loot funds meant for the programme, coupled with his secret plot to scrap the programme are now clear to the entire Niger Delta people, particularly the ex-militants, and we will resist it with our blood as usual”, the ex-militants noted.
“The non-payment of contractors/vendors by the Amnesty Office since November, last year, is a ploy by Monguno to cleverly scrap the Presidential Amnesty Programme, as beneficiaries of the programme no more undergo skills training because of the backlog of monies the office is owing contractors.
“We are calling on the Nigerian government to call Monguno to order in the next 48 hours, and prevail on him to pay all verified contractors to enable the beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme to return to their various training centres to continue with their training and empowerment schemes without further delay”, they reiterated.
“If the government fails to address this appalling situation within the next 48 hours, we shall have no other option than to go back to the creeks and take actions that will compel the Presidency to react appropriately, immediately”, they restated.
The ex-militants called on President Muhammadu Buhari to order Monguno to hand over everything that concerns the PAP office to Col Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd) to enable him begin to act as the substantive coordinator of the programme, saying that their demands should, as a matter of urgency, be met within the next 48 hours or else, they would go back to the creeks where they came from.
The ex-agitators hinted that information reaching them from reliable sources has it that the new amnesty boss cannot pay anyone because his hands are tied, saying that, “Col. Dikio (rtd) does not have any control over financial matters in the office, as approvals are made by the NSA, who is the one running the office”.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Amnesty Vendors’ Forum, Mr Samson Graham, had recently hinted that the Amnesty Office allegedly stopped paying contractors since November, 2019, for inexplicable reasons, saying that the contractors cannot continue their training and empowerment schemes without funds.
The sources quoted Graham to have appealed to the Presidency to facilitate the payment of verified contractors to enable them return to the various training centres to continue their job, explaining that his forum has a large number of registered vendors from the Niger Delta region.
Efforts to reach the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Col Milland Dikio proved abortive as at the time of filing this report.
Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
WTO: 106 Countries Back Okonjo-Iweala
The 27 European Union member states have backed Nigeria’s former finance minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in her bid to become the first African and first female director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The EU member states are France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.
The latest support for Okonjo-Iweala’s candidacy brings the number of countries officially endorsing her to 106 out of the 164 states that comprise the WTO.
The 55-member African Union had earlier officially supported the former World Bank director over her sole remaining opponent, Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea.
Okonjo-Iweala had also won the goodwill of a group of Caribbean and Pacific States as well as others from Asia.
Earlier, the European Parliament had endorsed Okonjo-Iweala to head the WTO, saying she was well-equipped to do the job.
The Parliament had subsequently written the EU to support the Nigerian candidate.
The WTO’s consultation process ended, yesterday, and the new leader is expected to be named in November but an EU official said that the EU would publicly announce its support for the 66-year-old economist, according to AFP.
The final winner between the two women would replace Brazil’s Roberto Azevedo and former director-general of the 25-year-old global trade organisation.
The initial pool of eight candidates for the WTO’s top post, which has been whittled down over two rounds of consultations, had included three Africans – Nigeria, Egypt and Kenya.
The third and final round of consultations seeking to establish consensus around one candidate, ended, yesterday, with the announcement due in early November.
If Okonjo-Iweala is confirmed, she would join the WTO at a difficult time, with the world facing a deep post-Coronavirus recession and a crisis of confidence in free trade and globalisation.
A trade war is brewing between the world’s anchor economies – the United States and China – and the European Union would see G7 member, Britain, leave its single market at the end of the year.
The US President, Donald Trump, faces a tough battle for re-election on November 3, but under his leadership, Washington’s relationship with the WTO has suffered.
His administration has appealed a WTO ruling that faulted US duties imposed on hundreds of billions of dollars in Chinese goods.
Usually, the WTO Appellate Body would have three months to rule on any appeals filed.
But that process has been complicated since the WTO Appellate Body – also known as the supreme court of world trade – stopped functioning last December as the US blocked the appointment of new judges to the panel.
- Editorial4 days ago
Buhari, Save Nigeria Now
- Politics4 days ago
Wike Imposes Curfew In Parts Of Rivers State
- Politics4 days ago
‘Why Senate Suspended Buhari’s Aide, Other INEC Nominees’ Confirmation’
- Politics4 days ago
End SARS Protest, A Wake-UP Call – Okorocha
- Politics4 days ago
PDP Cautions Fayemi On Violence
- Education4 days ago
Uniport Reopens Portal For Fees Payment
- Business4 days ago
Activist Faults CBN’s Gold Order To Zamfara
- News4 days ago
My Dad Is Not Nigeria’s Problem, Buhari’s Daughter Cries Out